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Is a bed tax the answer to Byron Bay's influx of summer tourists?

January 4, 2013, 11:13 am Angie Takanami Yahoo!7

Coming back into the TotalTravel office this week after a two-day break over New Year’s was a shock to the system. Not because of the fact I was coming back to work – I love my job. No, the shock was on the streets, in the gutters, and sadly, strewn around our beloved pristine beaches. Rubbish - littered everywhere - remnants of the influx of tourists who had flocked to our beaches to bring in the New Year. It was, in a word, disgusting.

Is a bed tax the answer to Byron Bay s influx of summer tourists?
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Coming back into the TotalTravel office this week after a two-day break over New Year’s was a shock to the system. Not because of the fact I was coming back to work – I love my job. No, the shock was on the streets, in the gutters, and sadly, strewn around our beloved pristine beaches. Rubbish - littered everywhere - remnants of the influx of tourists who had flocked to our beaches to bring in the New Year. It was, in a word, disgusting.


Credit: Jack Van Delft/Facebook

It is hard enough to find a park in town just to come to the office during the summer break, let alone trying to brave the supermarket or even try and get a spot down on the beach at The Pass to frolic in the crystal clear waters with the kids. I will spare you my rant about the swollen population of surfers (many whom cannot surf) flapping around in the water, raging at each other for “dropping in.”

The rubbish problem stretches further than Byron Bay’s central Main Beach, with campsites in neighboring Suffolk Park and Ewingsdale similarly suffering off the end of the mass number of tourists who descended the shire last week. Surely the culprits are coming back to clean up?

Byron Bay at midday today

It seems the issue has infuriated Local Government Minister (and Byron Bay resident), Don Page, who thinks a bed tax should be considered to allow tourism centres to pay for infrastructure and services straining from the influx of holiday tourists.

“The reality is that the infrastructure can’t cope and the question is: ‘What do we do about it? A bed tax is definitely an option,” Mr Page told ABC radio yesterday.

The controversial proposal for a bed tax has been rejected in the past, and would surely meet opposition from the Byron Bay accommodation industry.

Surely something needs to be done.

Do you think the bed tax proposal is the answer?

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6 Comments

  1. Russell Hayden12:17pm Monday 07th January 2013 ESTReport Abuse

    In the picture, you can clearly see a bin with a red lid. BUT, there is only one bin with a red lid. If the council wanted the place to be cleaner, they should put more bins around the place. People, as you all know, dont want to carry their rubbish for ages only to come across a bin that is overflowing rubbish and another two bins worth of rubbish on the ground. Too bloody bad for the workers who have to empty them all. My heart bleeds for them, that's what they get paid to do. Put more bins out, anchor them so idiots cant destroy them or use them as weapons. Just put the bloody things out. As far as the population goes in Byron Bay, why complain? Its plain and simple that you are destined to be a far bigger city than the little coastal town you are now. Get used to it and build more infrastructre to be prepared.

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  2. alan10:06am Monday 07th January 2013 ESTReport Abuse

    A bed tax, you have got to be kidding.-All seaside resorts survive mainly on the tourist visiting there, already we have a accommodation culture in these resorts where they put you up for the night for 18 hours at an average price of $130-00 to $250-00, which in itself a rip-off of the highest order. Families want to be able to take there children away, but cannot afford the high cost in these resorts, a bed tax will only make it harder again. One suggestion maybe would to employ beach patrol officers, and give on the spot fines to people who try to leave without there rubbish, and put bins in the most appropriate places, then there is no valid excuses by the litter bigs.

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  3. Peter08:02pm Sunday 06th January 2013 ESTReport Abuse

    I live in Ocean Grove and have done since 1969 BUT i moved there and so has 80% of the people there and its the same with Byron Bay ,Lennox Heads Barwon Heads Torquay etc etc so the places are so nice we go and stay there and then we go there and live so others like us love to visit spend there holidays there etc.I was born in Maclean NSW brought up when young in Yamba and Iluka Broomes Head etc Fantastic places BUT the vivitors should realise that we the rate payers cannot affors to support them if they dont put in.Keep your rubbish treat our places as you treat your own Enjoy our beautiful beaches etc but respect them and we would all get along as for the parks for shopping i bet the shop owners LOVE Xmas etc

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  4. Claire03:12pm Sunday 06th January 2013 ESTReport Abuse

    Byron Bay needs to either improve infrastructure or stop promoting itself as the 'must see' holiday destination. At one time you could not watch a holiday TV show or open a magazine without seeing a plug for Byron Bay. You can't have it both ways!

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  5. Susan07:22am Sunday 06th January 2013 ESTReport Abuse

    I live on the Mornington Peninsula. The locals dread this time of the year so much. It's not just the lack of parking, the trouble getting to ANYWHERE because of increased traffic, going for a walk etc. It is the rudeness of the tourists. Also the increased car accidents, vandalism and violence. I understand that tourism is great for our economy, and that a lot of seaside towns could not survive without the influx of summer money, but this is our home. Please treat it with respect.

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  6. Tony11:34am Friday 04th January 2013 ESTReport Abuse

    Agree a bed tax would be great if it goes back into our infrastructure. There are massive $ coming into the Bay to local businesses, just look how crowded the bottle shops & restaurants are. As locals we have to put up with no parking, crowds, alcoholism, violence, litter & disgusting toilets/change rooms not to mention pot holes. Be nice if something positive was put back into the town

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